More interesting than her tale is Dame Alison's prologue, in which she tells about her marriages to five husbands. She condemns celibacy to the utmost and argues against anti-feminist authorities in relation to her own experience. Chaucer lets the Wife draw on nearly all traditional sources of the male-female relationship from the Bible to the Roman de la Rose, although the Wife strongly adapts the material to her own purpose.
The Wife of Bath's Tale, though fitting to her prologue, is not as powerful. It is the famous story of the 'loathly lady' and the young knight who has to find out what women desire most. The expectable answer is: 'sovereignty'.
Together with the Merchant's and the Franklin's Tale the Wife's Tale forms the 'marriage group'.

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The Wife of Bath's Tale